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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

Missouri Chestnut Roast offers fun for the entire family, Oct. 29

Oct. 20, 2005

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The 3rd annual Missouri Chestnut Roast, scheduled for Oct. 29 at the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, Mo., will feature fire-roasted chestnuts and much, much more.

"We have a bumper crop of chestnuts at the center this year, so there will be plenty for sampling," said event coordinator Julie Rhoads.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. In addition to sampling the event's namesake, there will be a variety of locally-grown and value-added products including Missouri wines, cheeses, honey, meat products, sauces, seasonings and fruit. Recipes and nutritional information will be available, and many vendors will have free samples and products for sale.

"Craig Cyr, executive chef of The Wine Cellar and Bistro in Columbia, will give a cooking demonstration that incorporates the many uses for chestnuts as well as the local foods that will be featured in the producer tents," Rhoads said.

Many new activities have been added to this year's program, she said.

"Several demonstrations will be held throughout the day, including a session on tree-grafting by personnel from Forrest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry, Mo., and one on wreath-making with decorative woody florals," Rhoads said. "And in keeping with the Halloween weekend, we also have a live bat demonstration planned."

Children also will have plenty to see at the event. The MU Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture program will display a model farm that shows the many ways in which sustainable agriculture can thrive and benefit Missouri communities. "Children also can take their turn grinding corn on an antique grinder," Rhoads added.

Other children's activities include a story hour with local story-teller Larry Brown, face-painting and a straw bale maze.

"And, while supplies last, The MU Center for Agroforestry will have chestnut refrigerator magnets for children to decorate," Rhoads said. "Pastime Originals, a participating wood products vendor, will give out commemorative chestnut wood medallions to the first 170 children."

The Ironweed bluegrass band will provide musical entertainment throughout the morning and into the afternoon, and the New Franklin Booster Club will operate a concessions stand offering beef, elk and buffalo burgers for sale, among other items.

Guided bus and walking tours of the research center will be offered for those interested in learning more about the possibilities and benefits agroforestry practices can provide. Tours of the Thomas Hickman house, built in 1819 and currently under restoration, also will take place throughout the day.

Admission to the event is free. For directions and a schedule of the day's events, log on to, or contact Julie Rhoads at (573) 882-3234 or

Source: Julie Rhoads (573) 882-3234

--Jason L. Jenkins
Senior Information Specialist
Extension & Ag Information
University of Missouri
(573) 882-2980

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